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Oakley Vale Primary school

Reading at Home

Why is it important for your child to read at home? 


Sharing stories, talking and singing every day helps your child’s development in many ways.

Reading and sharing stories can:

  • Help your child get to know sounds, words and language, and develop early literacy skills
  • Learn to value books and stories
  • Spark your child’s imagination and stimulate curiosity
  • Help develop your child’s brain, ability to focus, concentration, social skills and communication skills
  • Help your child learn about the world, their own culture and other cultures.


What books will your child bring home?

A copy of the Read Write Inc Phonics Book that they are reading in school 

Reading this at home will help your child become secure with the sounds they are currently learning in school.

Encourage your child to read this book independently although they may need some support with the sounds they are learning. Ask questions about the book and talk lots about the story. Don’t just read it once – read the book multiple times to develop fluency and deeper understanding.


A copy of a Read Write Inc Phonics Book which has sounds your child has already learned in school and is familiar with.

Reading this book at home will help your child become more confident and fluent reading words with these sounds.

Your child may bring home a book they have previously read at home, because research shows this is important in order to allow them to develop familiarity with words and sounds and become fluent and confident with words and their meaning. Your child should be confident reading this book independently – encourage them to read it to you and spend lots of time asking questions and talking about the story and characters. Don’t just read it once – read the book multiple times to develop fluency and deeper understanding.


A book to read and share

This is a high-quality book to read with or to your child and share the excitement and enjoyment of a story.

This book may include words with sounds that your child has not yet learnt or is not yet confident reading. You can read the book to them, share the story and talk about the book to help them enjoy books and stories while they are still learning new sounds and words. It is important you do not expect your child to read this book independently – it is a book to be read and shared together. Don’t just read it once – read the book multiple times to develop fluency and deeper understanding.


Questions you can ask when reading

Before reading the book:

  • Can you point to the title? Or what is this (pointing at the title)
  • What do you think this story is about? What might happen in the story?
  • What do we call the writing on the back of the book? (Blurb)
  • What does the blurb tell us?


While reading the book:

  • What is happening in the pictures?
  • What has happened so far?
  • Is that what you expected to happen?
  • What might happen next?
  • How do you think the story might end?
  • What sort of character is …. ?
  • Is she/he friendly/mean/nice… ?


At the end of the book:

  • Did you like this book? Why? (encourage children to develop an opinion about books by encouraging them to explain their reasons)
  • What was your favourite part? Why?
  • What was the most interesting/exciting part of the book? Can you Find it?
  • What sort of character was…?
  • What happened in the story?


It is helpful if you:

  • Ask your child to check what they say makes sense - if it doesn’t, ask them what would make sense.
  • Say go back and try that again…’Fred Talk’ it to help you.
  • Let your child read the book again so they become more fluent and their reading sounds like talking.
  • Show how punctuation changes the way you read.
  • Talk lots about the book.
  • Read to your child as well as listen to them read – make reading fun.


Things that are unhelpful:

  • Don’t Interrupt while they are reading or tell them all their mistakes – they need to start to notice errors
  • Don’t ask your child to ‘Fred-Talk’ (sound out) all of the words - remember some can’t be sounded out (to, the, said, was).
  •  Don’t tell them they should know a word – help them work it out together.
  • Sounding out all the letters in long words does not always help.